Yogis Must Consume A Sattvic Diet
Our diet is not only essential for our survival, but it also plays a critical role in the activities we are engaged in. For instance, a bodybuilder cannot eat the same diet as a marathoner. A sumo wrestler cannot have the same diet as a software developer. Similarly, a yoga practitioner must not have the same diet as an average person. It is entirely true that we are what we eat.
According to Chhandogya Upanishad, food gets converted into three forms. The gross part of the food gets eliminated from the body through excretion. The nutritive portion of the food is assimilated into the body. The mind absorbs the subtle part of the food.
Pure diet or a sattvic diet purifies the mind. When the mind gets purified, it becomes stable naturally. A calm mind aids meditation and other yogic practices.
What Is A Sattvic Diet?
Sattvic food promotes longevity and strength. It helps in keeping the body free from any ailments. It fills the heart with happiness and love. Sattvic food is flavorful, tender and tastes good naturally.Foods such as fresh fruits without any genetic modifications and pesticides, natural butter, green leafy vegetables, roots, nuts, seeds, grains, cereals, legumes, etc. can be consumed in a sattvic diet.
A sattvic diet is neither too spicy nor without any condiments. It is not a heavy diet, yet it is fulfilling. It does not increase craving for food. Instead, it satiates one’s desire for food and calms down cravings.A person consuming a sattvic diet avoids foods that are too bitter, salty, spicy, pungent, dry and burning. These foods tend to increase cravings, and a person consuming such food craves more for them.
A yoga practitioner should consume fresh food and avoid eating preserved or stale food. He should never eat food prepared in unhygienic conditions or rotten food. Impure and spoiled food tend to make a person fall sick and increases lethargy. Intoxicants such as alcohol and tobacco are not good for a yoga practitioner.
A Sattvic Diet In Ayurveda
It is said in Ayurveda that medicine cannot help a person much who is consuming a wrong diet and a person eating the right food will never need any medication.
According to Ayurveda, there are three doshas in the body, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Vata dosha is made of the wind element; Pitta is made of the fire element, and Kapha dosha is made of the elements of water and the earth. Whenever any dosha gets imbalanced, it causes ailments in the body as well as the mind.
A sattvic diet naturally keeps all the three doshas balanced. It is easily digested and produces no toxins in the body. It gives complete nutrition to the body without affecting the natural balance of the doshas. A person consuming a sattvic diet does not eat keeping the taste in mind. Instead, his food choices are based on the effect of food on his prana(life-force). A yoga practitioner must avoid foods that agitate or dulls the life force.
A yoga practitioner or anybody who wants to stay healthy must keep in mind that whatever he eats, it should get digested completely. Often, when we don’t eat the right food or indulge excessively, all the food we eat is not digested properly. The half-digested food produces toxins in our body, imbalances one or more doshas and causes diseases. For instance, bloating is a sign of Vata imbalance. Acne is a sign of pitta imbalance and Obesity is a sign of Kapha imbalance.
A sattvic diet naturally keeps all the doshas balanced. It prevents over indulgence and excessive eating. It satiates the hunger, and a person on a sattvic diet does not crave for food too frequently.
How Does A Sattvic Diet Help Body And Mind In Yogic Practices?
According to Ayurveda, three vital essences support the wellness of our body and mind, namely, Ojas, Tejas, and Prana. When Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas are balanced, Prana, Tejas, and Ojas start building in the body. A sattvic diet naturally balances the three doshas, increases energy levels, promotes longevity and improves mental clarity.
Ojas improves immunity, calms and clears the mind and increases the lifespan of the person. Tejas provides vigor and energy to the individual. It enables a person to deal with stressful situations easily and accomplish his goals. Prana is the essential life force required by every cell of our body. With a proper flow of life-force to all the cells in the body, each organ of the body works efficiently.
What Does A Sattvic Diet Consists Of?
It is beneficial to consume food at a fixed time every day. The body becomes habituated to the timing and produces gastric juices on particular time slots. It keeps the person free from food cravings rest of the time. A sattvic diet has a fixed time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The best time for having a meal is when you are most hungry. However, you need to understand the difference between a real hunger and a craving for taste. You should never delay eating because you are busy working or for some other reason. It can become a habit and start affecting your health negatively.
The right time to have your breakfast is between the sunrise and three hours after that. You can have your breakfast in this window, but it is best to stick to a particular time every day. For instance, if you leave for your work at 07:30 am, have your breakfast at around 07:00 am. You must get enough time to have your meals peacefully.
You can have your lunch between 12:00 pm to 02:00 pm. When the sun is directly above our head, it is time to have lunch. Ideally, a four to five-hour gap between your breakfast and lunch is good.
In a Sattvic diet, it is best to have your dinner before the sun sets. For instance, if the sun sets at 06:45 pm, it is good to have dinner at 06:15 pm.
You can change your timings according to the season, but you must keep the sunrise and sunset in your mind to come back to the natural harmony with nature.
Ayurveda says that the sun plays a major role in releasing the enzymes necessary for digestion. If we don’t eat our meals at the right time, we can not have a strong digestion which is essential for good health.
Outside the schedule, you can consume A2 cow milk or coconut milk or fresh smoothies of sweet fruits if you are hungry.
Water is not only essential for our survival, but it also plays a crucial role in determining the status of our health. A sattvic diet consists of pure water. It is important for a person on a sattvic diet to drink water slowly while trying to gulp in as much saliva as possible in each sip. Saliva is alkaline and balances the acidity in the stomach.
The Sattvic diet begins with drinking water on an empty stomach in the morning. The saliva produced in the mouth overnight is useful for balancing the acidity of the stomach in the morning. A person on a sattvic diet avoids chilled or cold water as it causes constipation and vasoconstriction in the stomach.
Other essential foods for Sattvic Diet
Whole Foods – A sattvic diet consists of whole foods such as raw, fresh fruits or smoothies instead of extracted juices or whole grains instead of refined flours.
Oil – Natural oils such as coconut oil, sesame oil or clarified butter from A2 milk are part of a sattvic diet. Hydrogenated oils, trans fats or any oil manufactured in factories cannot be a part of a sattvic diet.
Fresh Green Leafy Vegetables – Fresh green leafy vegetables produced organically are an important component of a sattvic diet.
Seeds and Nuts – Nuts such as almonds, peanuts, walnuts, etc. can be included in a sattvic diet. Seeds such as chia seeds, sesame seeds or flax seeds can also be included in a sattvic diet.
Simple Food Combinations – It is important not to combine too many different foods in the same meal. A person consuming a sattvic diet must focus on proper digestion of everything he eats and not just make healthy food choices.
So, to conclude, I would say that, Yoga practitioners who want to excel in spiritual practices or people who want to stay healthy can significantly benefit from a sattvic diet. A sattvic diet helps in calming the mind, improves mental clarity and promotes longevity.
Author Bio: This is Ella Wilson, the founder of TinyPlantation.com. I have a great interest in plants and gardens and I am fascinated with fruits and vegetables. I wish to share my passion with you through this website. Feel free to read my articles and guides and share them with others who might benefit from them. You can reach out to me anytime if you have questions.